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On Falling Off the Wagon (and Why I'll Never Do It Again)

Whole LifeRobyn Downs2 Comments

Let’s talk about the health wagon for a minute.

Are you familiar? I’m not sure I can define this elusive wagon for you exactly, but I do know it’s something people feel like they can fall off of.

Especially this time of year.

On Falling Off the Wagon (and Why I'll Never Do It Again)

This time of year with short days, long nights, and cold.

This time of year of parties, family, friends, drinks, sweets, and all the rest.

This time of year some of us think we’ve fallen all the way off the wagon.

And once off the wagon, we might as well just spiral down into a black hole of indulgence.

A hole that we think we can only dig out of come January.

I admit that I know the wagon mindset well.

It’s the all-or-nothing, I’ve-already-ruined-it, might-as-well-start-over-monday mindset that’s been in my back pocket over the years, ready to pull out when life gets hard or the days get dark.

It always starts innocently enough.

Cheese + wine with friends, followed by skipping a workout in favor of coffee and donuts with the family (dad, I blame you for the donuts).

These were, and are, indulgences that I consider worth it.

And I don’t think it’s these that are a problem.

I think the problem is the wagon.

Thinking that a few worth-it splurges automatically equal a month-long shame spiral.

Buying into the all-or-nothing health lie that you have to do it perfectly.

The lie that if you miss a few days (or weeks) or eat gluten, or (god-forbid) sugar then that’s it, you might as well give up, because you are OFF THE WAGON.

As for me, I’ve moved on.

Life is not a wagon.

It’s simply a series of days, filled with beautiful opportunities to make choices.

To choose to take care of myself and nurture my body, mostly with energizing whole food, tons of water, meditation, mindfulness, and plenty of movement.

But also, importantly, sometimes pie.

And always, always, a whole lot of gentle.

So this month, here is my invitation to you: find your special, and embrace your splurges.

But feel free to go ahead and ditch the wagon.

Each day is yours.

Independent, beautiful opportunities full of choices that are yours to make.

Have fun.

Ditch the wagon.

Be love.

Practice gentle.

#gentleisthenewperfect